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Last Updated: Thursday, 28 June 2007, 13:08 GMT 14:08 UK
Cliff railway 'closed for weeks'
East Hill Lift entrance
The East Hill Lift celebrated its 104th birthday last August
A 105-year-old cliff-side funicular railway will be shut for weeks after being damaged in its first ever crash.

Two teams of engineers who inspected the East Hill lift at Hastings, East Sussex have found Wednesday's crash was caused by a control panel fault.

Both the cars used on the lift were damaged, along with the bottom station.

A spokesman for Hastings council said the lift was due to be refurbished next year and the best solution might be to bring that work forward.

One of the cars crashed into the station at the base of the cliff when the brakes failed as it was a few feet from its destination.

A family of four on board were unhurt and were able to walk away without needing medical attention.

Several hundred thousand

Hastings Borough Council said the East Cliff Lift was the steepest funicular railway in the UK.

The bottom station was damaged, along with the other car which hit the station at the top of the cliff.

Kevin Boorman, spokesman for the council, said the lift would be closed for "at least several weeks".

Refurbishment and replacement of the cars, track and operation system, at a cost of several hundred thousand pounds, has already been approved for next year.

"A decision will be made on whether it is easier and cheaper to bring that work forward rather than carry out repairs, reopen, then close again," said Kevin Boorman, spokesman for the council.

"It is a blow because it is a very popular visitor attraction but we cannot reopen until we are absolutely sure it is safe."




SEE ALSO
Cliff railway closes for repairs
20 Nov 06 |  Southern Counties

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